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View Full Version : DP or no DP...thoughts?


simplymama
05-14-2010, 10:45 AM
Last year we got the Deluxe Dining Plan, because we had two TS meals scheduled every day, and a couple of them were 2DCs. But we also stayed CL and let's just say we were NEVER hungry.

So this year, we were thinking of doing the regular DP as we are staying CL again.

But here's the thing. We have days where we have two TS meals scheduled, and days where we only have one, but no days with none.

MY dh really really likes to have a proper TS meal for dinner so we don't want to cut out any of them. The extras TS meals come in because we want to do a couple of breakfasts for the kids so they can see the characters. We don't like the character buffets for dinner because the food isn't to our liking for the most part.

We also found last year that we seldom ate a real lunch because of the big lbreakfast and dinner. We'd have a snack or something from CS(but not necessarily a whole meal). We usually eat an earlier dinner, because we have a 2 year old that gets tired out.

The other thing was, that we seemed to always order Dessert since it was included with the meal plan, but so many times, the kids or even us adults would onlly take a bite or two and just be too stuffed to eat the rest.

We have a large family and most of our children are considered adults on the dining plan , yet it seems that they often order things that aren't very expensive. It just seems there is no way that every family member considered an adult would eat $75.00 worth of food ,every day and yet the regular DP would leave us paying out of pocket for some TS meals so would probably end up costing us almost the same as doing Deluxe and we may end up wasting some of the CS credits.

So I guess I'm trying to decide if we just pay out of pocket for everything and don't order dessert or appetizers unless we really truly are hungry enough to enjoy them, then maybe that would be the most cost effiicient choice?

Any thoughts.

Cafeen
05-14-2010, 11:10 AM
It may take time, but sitting down and figuring out what you would order on each plan would be the way to go. It will allow you to more realistically determine if you're saving money or spending more by going with whatever plan.

It does sound like you're right in-between the DxDDP and DDP "sweet spots", so it could take quite a bit of comparing to figure it out :(.

Alternatively, you could take a look at your least expensive TS locations, and see if paying OOP for them (while on the DDP) would drive the cost too far up.

Shameless self-promotion warning - Note that the spreadsheet in my sig will allow you to compare what you'd order if on the DxDDP vs DDP (vs QS vs OOP) and estimates the total costs and breaks it down some. I'm still working on it some, but it sounds like it'd work well for you.

TDC Nala
05-14-2010, 11:22 AM
There is also absolutely nothing wrong with going without a dining plan, or with using cash to supplement the offerings of the basic plan, especially if you have access to a club level lounge that provides food and drinks. if it would be a better way for you to order at restaurants and coordinate which meals you prefer. There are many posters who love the dining plan and it is the only way to go for them, but if you are considering going without it, run the numbers both ways. It is not always the most convenient and effecient way to go for every party on every trip.

Roo2
05-14-2010, 11:43 AM
If you got the regular dining plan, maybe you could pay out of pocket for some of the meals that are less expensive (be sure to let the wait staff know at the beginning), saving the credits to apply to your 2 credit meals. Assuming it's allowed- not sure of all the finer details/rules of the plan. Also, most restaurants allow you to share a meal- two people with smaller appetites could share one entree, saving a credit for later, and reducing dessert waste, as well.

Good luck planning, and I hope you have a magical trip!

GC&S
05-14-2010, 12:36 PM
I ran numbers because we were thinking about not doing the DP. But we typically do a TS everyday and we (well DD and myself) love our desserts. Our dd is 7 so we can't beat the plan for her. Even when I skipped a TS for one day, it still worked out to be a better deal for us to get the regular DP. Of course DH said it was a waste of time to even compare numbers because in his mind we were already buying the plan :). It just makes it simpler for us to eat.

simplymama
05-14-2010, 12:57 PM
I ran numbers because we were thinking about not doing the DP. But we typically do a TS everyday and we (well DD and myself) love our desserts. Our dd is 7 so we can't beat the plan for her. Even when I skipped a TS for one day, it still worked out to be a better deal for us to get the regular DP. Of course DH said it was a waste of time to even compare numbers because in his mind we were already buying the plan :). It just makes it simpler for us to eat.

Thanks, if we were just going to get one TS a day it would be easy and definitely the way to go. The problem is the days that we are planning on two TS, we'd have to pay for one out of pocket and then because we are staying club level, we get food in there and so last year just never ate a third meal most days, which would mean the CS meal from that day would go to waste. I'm sure we could order breakfast with it on another day but if we aren't doing a buffet than we usually just eat in the Club Level Lounge.

We also get some yummy offerings in the evenings at the GF CL so skipping dessert isn't really a bad thing for us. It leaves more room to eat the treats later...lol

I don't think we will save a lot either way and so I think I'm leaning towards the freedom of no dining plan this trip.

clanmcculloch
05-14-2010, 01:20 PM
You don't mention anything about CS meals. Are you planning to eat many? It sounds as though your food is being taken care of between TS meals, CL lounge and I'm assuming odd snacks and maybe occasional CS at parks. That doesn't add up to a DDP type of vacation. It sounds as though you'd be better off just paying OOP and skipping any dining plan. This is even more true since you said you sometimes order appetizers and desserts just because they're included on the DxDDP rather than because you really want them. It just doesn't sound like any plan makes sense for you.

simplymama
05-14-2010, 01:28 PM
You don't mention anything about CS meals. Are you planning to eat many? It sounds as though your food is being taken care of between TS meals, CL lounge and I'm assuming odd snacks and maybe occasional CS at parks. That doesn't add up to a DDP type of vacation. It sounds as though you'd be better off just paying OOP and skipping any dining plan. This is even more true since you said you sometimes order appetizers and desserts just because they're included on the DxDDP rather than because you really want them. It just doesn't sound like any plan makes sense for you.

Thanks, I think that's exactly what we're going to do this trip:-)

kirbygump
05-14-2010, 03:25 PM
simplymama - I have gone back & forth, back & forth on this whole question myself. We had the DDP last time and it worked out good. But this time we are staying CL for 7 nights, and I know we're going to be snacking on that stuff as dh always goes back to the resort for a few hours every day. I originally had DDP booked for the entire stay, then change to 5 days (but kept my 7 day park tix) and 2 days room only, but last night called and changed again!!!! Now I'm doing the first 3 days w/DDP as we have character meal buffets for 2 of those 3 days and it's a good value for the kids, then the last 4 days will be room only and I have some ADR's but if we need to cancel we will. I love having a TS every evening but not so much the kids. So I believe it will work out better OOP for us. But I am determined to save all my receipts and come home & figure it all out like the OCD queen that I am, lol.